You're looking for someone to care for your little one, but would you hire a nanny with her own kids in tow? A seasoned sitter comes with a host of strengths, but it's important not to ignore the challenges that accompany child care providers who are also parents.

Considering caregivers who are parents

From the benefits such as "real life experience" to the disadvantages such as leaving you without a babysitter when her own kids are sick, sort through the pros and cons of hiring a daycare provider who will care for her own kids while looking after your youngster.

Consider the advantages

Whether you opt for a child care situation where a babysitter will care for your youngster in your own home or you go for a caregiver who will watch your little one in her home, selecting a nanny who is also a parent comes with a host of advantages for both you and your child:

  • Nanny has "real life experience" and can understand a child's needs
  • Caregiver will have empathy for your child
  • A parent knows what it's like to be a working mom
  • Your little one can learn to socialize within the comforts of a home setting
  • Your child will have a built-in playmate
  • A nanny bringing her own child to work could equal tax advantages for you
  • You may be able to negotiate a lower rate when care is divvied up between your youngster and her own
  • A daycare provider is likely to be happier and stay with you longer

Establish a back-to-work baby schedule >>

Weigh the challenges

While the benefits of hiring a child care provider with kids of her own are abundant, some parents are hesitant based on some common challenges and concerns of having a caregiver with her own kids on the job:

  • Child care provider isn't able to focus solely on your child
  • There's a possibility the nanny may favor her own child
  • You're left in a daycare lurch if a babysitter's own child is sick
  • A babysitter may not want her own child around your sick child
  • Concern for liability issues of caregiver's child in your home
  • Child care provider may not have time for other agreed-upon tasks such as laundry or taking your youngster to extracurricular classes
  • Your child is exposed to more children and their germs
  • There's often more chaos associated with more children than just your own in the home

Ask the right questions

Before you can make your decision on whether or not to hire a daycare provider with kiddos of her own, you'll likely interview your candidates. However, to come to an agreement with her on possible concerns without crossing any legal boundaries, you'll have to be careful in the way in which you pose your questions, warns Candi Wingate, president of Nannies4Hire.com. "From a legal perspective, there are many state and federal laws prohibiting employers from making adverse employment decisions based on an applicant's motherhood." So tread lightly.

Top interview questions to ask a potential nanny >>

Still wondering if you should hire a nanny with her own kids in tow? It ultimately comes down to your gut. As a parent, you have the right to decide the circumstances in which you leave him with a caregiver so make sure you're comfortable. Whether you choose to hire an exclusive nanny or opt for a babysitter with kids of her own, be sure to make your expectations clear to avoid an awkward situation later long after you've trusted her with your most prized possession -- your own child.

More on choosing the right child care

Child care solutions: what is a mother's helper?
How to find a good child care program for your child
Work at home moms and child care

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Comments

Comments on "Hire a nanny with her own kids in tow?"

anon January 17, 2013 | 1:24 AM

My nanny had a baby and at her instigation, came back to work with the child (at her usual rates). I thought it would be fine but the problems are mounting. She was an excellent nanny but now she forgets things, she does not always clean up, she sometimes neglects my child (ie no matter how many times I tell her she forgets to put sunscreen on) and generally pays more attention to her toddler, as would be expected. So in general I would not recommend that anybody hire a nanny who brings along their children unless they want to negotiate half rates and put up with a lot more inconvenience.

Janice StClair April 21, 2012 | 5:42 AM

How does hiring a nanny with her own child become a tax break for the employer? I would actually put exposure to more children and germs into the plus column. This strengthens the immune system, and both children would be less likely to become sick overall, or to miss school days later. Also, an American nanny may have a child to bring. The au pair program is a strictly regulated cultural exchange program that allows young women between ages 18 to (I think) 24 into this country on a special visa for up to a year. A young mother would not be able to register as an au pair and bring a dependent child with her to this country.

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